Making the streets of Lower Manhattan more attractive and convenient for pedestrians is a top priority for the Downtown Alliance.
Broadway Streetscape Program
The Downtown Alliance’s $20 million streetscape program gave lower Broadway a sophisticated look that is at once contemporary and classic. Recognized by the Art Commission of the City of New York for its unique style and elegance, the program transformed 26 blocks to to be more inviting and contemporary. Elements include:
- Reconstruction of all the sidewalks and curbs along lower Broadway
- 81 Pedestrian light poles with energy-efficient LED bulbs that provide bright and welcoming lighting
- Street furniture including protective bollards, bike racks, and sign poles, in our signature black and silver design
- User-friendly wayfinding and a districtwide street sign system
- Granite markers commemorating all ticker-tape parades up lower Broadway
This Broadway Streetscape Program was made possible in part by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which was funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Including the elements of the Broadway streetscape program, the Alliance maintains nearly 1,300 pieces of street furniture throughout the district, such as illuminated and traditional street signs, park signs and informational signs for our local attractions.
The Downtown Alliance makes it easier for everyone to find their way through Lower Manhattan’s narrow, winding streets with a user-friendly wayfinding system, which consists of three main components: iconic street signs, signs providing directions to major landmarks and subways and Heritage Trail markers.
The old green-and-white street signs have been replaced with elegant black-and-white signs. These signs contain the street name and range of address numbers on each block and feature photo images representing iconic Lower Manhattan landmarks. As you walk the streets of Lower Manhattan, the images change to represent the landmark or attraction that is closest.
Wayfinding signs are mounted on poles and freestanding four-sided orientation signs are installed at key locations along Broadway. The conspicuous black-and-white signage includes the images, names, subway symbols and associated directional arrows.
Heritage Trail Markers and WalkNYC Maps
To call greater attention to the district’s architectural wonders and historic sites, the Downtown Alliance maintains 24 Heritage Trail Markers in front of Lower Manhattan’s most culturally significant places, explaining why each site is historically important. Selected markers also feature DOT’s WalkNYC maps to help orient pedestrians.
Some examples: Federal Hall, where President George Washington was inaugurated; the Woolworth Building, one of New York’s most elegant skyscrapers, and Trinity Church’s historic burial ground.
Public Art Activations
For the fall of 2021, the Downtown Alliance partnered with NYC-based arts nonprofits to bring local artists into Lower Manhattan to transform storefronts and lamp posts for two exhibitions focused on resiliency.
Art on the Ave NYC
Art on the Ave NYC, a nonprofit community initiative, displays work by 27 local artists at The Fulton Center and seven other locations along Broadway from September 7 through November 28. Each piece of art in the collection is guided by the notion of “resiliency,” the ability to demonstrate adaptability and the capacity to thrive in changing or challenging environments. The work spans across mediums using collage, paint, charcoal and textiles to explore the driving theme.
Lamp Posts Project with ArtBridge
The Alliance also launched a second project that wrapped 65 lamp posts along Broadway with vibrant art in collaboration with ArtBridge, a local nonprofit that has brought art to over 50,000 square feet of public space. Through a public design competition, ArtBridge received over 150 applications that were reviewed by a panel of esteemed judges. The lamp post project is presented in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program.